IciStem is a collaborative project to guide and investigate the potential for HIV cure in HIV-infected patients requiring allogeneic stem cell transplantation for hematological disorders.
The IciStem consortium is composed of an expert European review panel of hematologists with experience in allogeneic SCT procedures along with infectious disease specialists, virologist and immunologists with expertise in the field of HIV-1 tropism, reservoirs and cure.
We prospectively study allogeneic SCT recipients with HIV-1 infection, collecting complete information on underlying malignancy, chemotherapy, transplant procedure, donor selection, HIV-tropism, cART, and virological and immunological characteristics of a variety of samples before and after the transplant.
IAS Cure Strategy
A new Cure strategy, developed by the International AIDS Society (IAS) was published on July 11th, 2016, in the journal Nature Medicine: http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nm.4108.html
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UTRECHT/BARCELONA, October 3rd, 2016 - In response to the expanding international activities of the consortium, EpiStem, the European Project to guide and investigate the potential for HIV cure by Stem Cell Transplantation, announces its name change into IciStem,International Collaboration to guide and investigate the potential for HIV cure by Stem Cell Transplantation.
Over the last months patients from outside Europe have been included in the project. Following the press conference during the recent AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, the project receives a lot of international attention and exchange of information with several institutes from outside Europe has been reinforced.
As of September 12th, 2016, EpiStem will change its name into IciStem to better reflect the global nature of the project and the broader health care commitment. In alignment with the adoption of a new name, the website of the consortium is renamed into www.icistem.org.
Since 2014, IciStem investigates HIV infected patients who receive stem cells from another person (Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation) in an observational study. The patients all undergo this procedure because of life-threatening hematological conditions. The project guides and investigates the potential for HIV cure in these HIV-infected patients, aiming to understand the biological mechanisms leading to reduction of viral reservoirs in the body and to identify potential cases of HIV-1 eradication/remission. IciStem is not a clinical trial, but systematically monitors the patients before and for extensive periods of time after the stem cell transplantation.
Funding is obtained from amfAR Research Consortium on HIV Eradication (ARCHE), a program from The Foundation for AIDS Research, amfAR.
The project is co-led by Javier Martinez-Picado, ICREA researcher from the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute (Barcelona, Spain), and Annemarie Wensing, clinical virologist from the University Medical Center Utrecht (Netherlands). The IciStem investigators form a consortium of hematologists, infectious disease specialists, virologists, immunologists and blood/tissue bank specialists from France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom who collaborate with clinicians globally to enroll patients to study blood and tissue samples before and after the stem cell transplantation.
Further information on the project can be received through IciStem@umcutrecht.nl or at www.icistem.org.